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News/Business. Live news coverage, breaking news and current news events with host Thomas Roberts. New.

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  MSNBC    MSNBC Live    News/Business. Live news coverage, breaking news  
   and current news events with host Thomas Roberts. New.  

    December 3, 2013
    8:00 - 9:01am PST  

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[ male announcer ] prilosec otc is the number one doctor recommended frequent heartburn medicine for 8 straight years. one pill each morning. 24 hours. zero heartburn. hi, everybody, i'm thomas roberts. topping our agenda, the art of the resale. after weeks of horrible headlines, glitches, delayed deadlines, the white house hopes to turn the political tables starting today with a major pr push to sell the benefits of obama care. the president heads off this fresh offensive with a speech planned for 2:30 p.m. eastern surrounded by americans who have been helped by the health care law. just announced this morning, this thursday, msnbc "hardball" host chris matthews will have a sitdown with president obama joined by students from american universities. the so-called young invincibles that the white house needs to reach. each and every day between now and december the 23rd, the administration and congressional democrats will hold an event touting a different positive aspect of the health care law,
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just like those advent calendars so many of us are using this time of year. seems familiar, right? the ones where every day of the month you pop open another door and reveal something special inside? three years after he signed the affordable care act into law, two months after the botched rollout of the health care website, the administration hopes a three-week campaign will remind all americans why they're doing this in the first place. >> how hard of a slog is it going to be for the white house to try to turn this around? >> i think it's going to be difficult. ultimately they have to prove successful with the website. >> republicans are continuing to keep their focus on the unpopularity and problems that have been plaguing the law. >> the president's health care law continues to wreak havoc on american families, small businesses and our economy. and it's not just a broken website. this bill is fundamentally flawed. >> all right. but with the website fixed and accessible to millions of americans, what will republicans have to specifically to complain
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about now? joining me is democratic congressman john yarmuth from kentucky. kentucky considered a poster state for how obama care can work. sir, it's good to have you here. you're from a red state where the democratic governor there made it his mission to get as many residents signed up under the health care law as possible. as a result, we've got more than 60,000 in your home state signing up for coverage as of this week. and in a state where 640,000 are lacking proper insurance. how do you think that the white house's pr push nationally to replicate what we're seeing in kentucky? >> well, i think what is ultimately going to sell the affordable care act is neighbor telling 98 ponen9nene bore, rel telling relative about the positive experiences they have had. in kentucky, that's what's sustained the incredible success we've had is people are saying, hey, this is a pretty good thing. i'm going to try it.
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that's what helps us sell the program ultimately. it probably won't be speeches, it will be actual positive experiences. >> let's talk about that ripple effect because just this morning white house advisers briefed white house democrats that healthcare.gov stood up to one million visitors. again, this is visitors with bumps in waits but no major crashes. on cyber monday, 100,000 had signed up and the site has a 90% success rate. it appears that no amount of progress is truly good enough for republicans. i want to play james lankford speaking to chris jansing last hour. >> those would be good things, 100,000 people getting involved if there weren't five million people that just two months ago weren't kicked off their insurance. so 100,000 people signing up when five million people lost it is a tough figure. you've still got millions that don't have insurance and have had difficulty signing up. if they don't sign up quickly in
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the next three weeks, people that were insured are going to lose insurance in january. >> so these are people, again, that the congressman there was referring to. people that lost their insurance or people that bought policies that were going to be purged because it didn't meet the standard of care under the aca. now, our nbc first read team points out not a single republican the last two weeks are talking about repealing the health care law. the language of repeal. so do you think that that has gone away, that language, and now republicans should be expected to confront the president's message but know that this law is here to stay? >> yeah, i think the republicans right now are kind of floundering around trying to figure out what their position should be. i even heard bill crystal this morning on "morning joe" talking about -- he seemed to be suggesting that we actually ought to go to medicare for everybody, a single payer plan, which is an interesting position for conservatives to take. i'm all for it. we should have done that. but ultimately when you're
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talking about repeal now, you're saying to six and a half million seniors that they're going to pay $1,000 a more a year for their prescription drugs. you're saying to over 100 million americans about half of them women that recommended preventive care is now going to cost them, whereas under the aca it's without cost. you're saying to the entire country that many of the cost savings that were put into place that has given us the lowest growth rate and health care costs in 50 years are going to disappear. so the repeal movement now or the message has very severe consequences for many americans. and i don't think the republicans want to be out on that limb right now. >> sir, i want to get you on the record about this because we know the house is going to vote later today on whether or not to reauthorize the ban on plastic guns in this country for another ten years. when the plastic gun ban initially passed, i want to remind everybody this was in 1988. the vote was 413-4. they have agreed for years that
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it doesn't make sense to carry guns that don't show up in metal detectors. however, we have these weapons thanks to 3-d technology. do you expect that common sense can prevail and will a simple ban be enough? >> i don't think it's ever enough. i think there's a lot of things to do to promote safety in this country as far as guns are concerned, but this bill this afternoon is what's on the suspension calendar, which means that's usually reserved for noncontroversial bills. they have to get two-thirds of the membership, so 290 votes. so i think they anticipate there won't be much problem. as a matter of fact, there may not even be a roll call vote on that. sponsored by a republican from north carolina. i think it has a good chance -- good chance of passage. i don't think you want to be on the other side of this very, very common sense measure. >> kentucky congressman, john yarmuth, great to see you today. joining me now, jimmy williams and republican strategist hogan gidley. gentlemen, it's good to have you
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here. jimmy, i want to start with you because the president's statement today and also about his exclusive sitdown with chris matthews coming up on thursday and this plan to hold daily events leading up to december 23rd, it comes after this troubled rollout prompted administration officials who had to get back on their heels on this to come out swinging and promise things would get better. >> nobody is madder than me about the fact the website isn't working as well as it should, which means it's going to get fixed. >> no one ever imagined the volume of issues and problems that we've had. and we must fix it. >> there is an enormous amount of work going on, on a daily basis, to make the necessary fixes and to upgrade the site with the goal of making it fully functional for the vast majority of users by the end of this month. >> i am confident that by -- by the time we look back on this next year that people are going to say this is working well and
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helping a lot of people. >> jimmy, they have always had confidence in the law, but now that they can actually have confidence in the website to get those people that need it access to it, have the tables turned for the white house? >> i would hope so, because as i have said to you and many others, this has been a deplete disaster. i have not been able to log on to the website successfully since october 4th. actually i've never been able to log on to the website successfully, so that's a problem because on january 1st i would like to buy health insurance from a private for-profit health insurance company via the exchange. >> when was the last time you tried signing on. >> yesterday. wasn't able to do it. but the point is i can still call the phone number. there is a way to get around that problem. so i'm lucky. i will be able to do this, but there are certain people that probably won't be able to and that's going to be a problem for them. apparently the latino -- the hispanic language aspect of the website is still having major problems as well and so that's -- listen, those folks have to get insurance as well
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and have to be able to purchase insurance as well. that's the whole point of this law, so that these millions of people can go get insurance. >> it's a marathon, not a sprinting. however, the mandate does certainly encourage people to have to get to that certain point, that check pointipoinche otherwise be penalized. hogan, you have republicans making this about the website and the glitches with the website. for weeks there was a quiet fear among some republicans that they could be falling into the trap of once the website is fixed then the public will perceive the law as working. so if the website gets to that level where 100% of people are having accessible options at their fingertips to finger ogur what type of insurance they want, once they get grounded and the traction grows, where do they go about what the aca means to this country. >> i want it duly noted that i was not quiet about that. i think the website will be fixed.
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i think people will be able to sign up shortly. jimmy, don't worry. however, the back ending of this is what i'm worried about this. when you talk about it hasn't even been built yet, the back ending of this website which provides information to insurers, remember, a lot of the concerns the democrats are now facing and you're hearing this publicly is that health insurance does not necessarily mean health coverage or health care. and the doctors on the back side of this obama care, when they're able to sign up, the medicaid dollars fall short, a lot of doctors are going to say i'm not getting reimbursed enough, i'm not taking those type of paints and you've got a whole other set of problems. the rhetoric the president is using now where he said most people will get better coverage and cheaper coverage, he's toned that down and saying there's a good chance you'll be able to do that. that doesn't help red state democrats in the 2014 midterms because they want some rhetoric they're going to be able to feed to people that undergird the promises they made when they parroted what obama said.
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so i think that's going to be a huge problem. if republicans continue to focus on the website, they're missing the bigger issue of coverage itself, which i think is much more difficult to handle than the website itself. >> but don't you worry about red state republicans like those in kentucky where the site is flourishing and those guys have been nothing but obstacles in trying to make an exchange, like kentucky's connect work and it's working. and tens of thousands of people out of 640,000 uninsured in kentucky, they're getting covered now. >> sure. look, i think a lot of people will show some success stories and the president sure is going to do that. he's probably going to start with the chris matthews interview coming up, but there are millions more who don't share that same sent meant and have experienced something different with that website. those are the ones that are going to be the most helpful in election because the anger movement and the discontentment with how this thing is going is really what gets people protesting and gets people out to the polls an gets people
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upset with the way things are going. >> gentlemen, thanks so much, jim eem williams, hogan gidley, great to see you. that leads us to our big question for all of you today. will the white house pr push to sell obama care defeat any gop efforts to try to sabotage the aca law? weigh in on facebook and twitter. just a reminder for everybody, chris matthews will exclusively interview president obama this week as part of his "hardball" college tour coming from american university. that interview will air this thursday at 7:00 p.m. eastern right here on msnbc. you do not want to miss it. immigration activists keep up their washington fast, but will their efforts translate into real reform on capitol hill? we'll take a look at that. also ahead, have you heard detroit bracing for a bankruptcy ruling today. right now the judge is reading his decision in a courtroom on whether the city can go ahead with a chapter 9 feeling. what sdmeejt for the people and the ripple effects it could have across the country. like right here i can just...
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on the national mall right now, immigration rights advocates are rallying in an effort to move the needle on immigration reform in congress, and this event is the culmination of a hunger strike called fast for families that began 21 days ago in front of the capitol building and garnered 5,000 supporters at other events throughout the country. moo rea teresa kumar is at the rally where msnbc's reverend al sharpton, and others are slated to speak. looks like the weather is holding out, a beautiful day there in washington, d.c. m.t., we know that the president and the first lady along with the vice president have all come there and shown their support for these protesters. with five days left before congress leaves on its winter break, it's really highly unlikely that the house will take up the senate's immigration bill and we've got a handful of
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republicans trying to pass their own immigration reform bills. but we have house speaker john boehner who doesn't appear to be budging. is there a feeling there that the demonstrators are having an impact, a desired impact on an outcome? >> i think more than anything they realize that they're trying to bring back the roots of a peaceful movement. what we are going to see later on today is that the head person that is currently fasting is going to pass the baton on to a young man from the dream defenders and that was very symbol ib of when cesar chavez did the same thing when he passed his fasting baton to the reverend jesse jackson. right now what we're hearing in congress is that as of last week boehner said he was open to the immigration movement and actually passing legislation once the president signalled that he was willing to basically open it up into five different pieces of legislation. we have seen some republicans come and talk to the fasters. notably we have congressman denim from california saying this is something that is a
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bipartisan movement. the only thing that's a bit surprising is while we've had the democratic leadership, boehner has been asked to come down and he has refused to engage with the fasters. i think it's because they're providing a human element. these individuals, you have young people and elderly people saying this is an american issue. we are here and representing millions of families that have been deported and we have to fix the problem today. >> the contrast is we have the president, showing the pictures of him coming down to visit the protesters there, he's not being let off the hook. we have that immigration rights advocate who heckled the president last week on the west coast. he wrote an open letter saying you claim that the president of the united states has no authority to stop deportations and yet in june of 2012, before the 2012 election which you won with the help of latino avoters you implemented deferred action for childhood arrivals.
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so isn't it difficult for the president and his administration to be seen potentially as just giving lip service, because they can't get anything pushed through? >> i mean not only has he been -- he's been the toughest. let's remind everybody at home that he has over two million people at home that he's deported under his watch. however, last week he did declare a reprieve on military families, so people that are currently serving, their family members are going to be able to stay in the united states for an extended period of time. however, fundamentally all he can do right now is provide reprieve and executive orders, but this is an issue that congress ultimately has to fix. and we're talking about it for our national security, for our economy and obviously for the human aspect of it. >> maria teresa kumar, it's great to see you, thank you. >> thank you, thomas. take care. we'll bring in congressman luis gutierrez, a democrat from illinois and one of the leading advocates for immigration reform in congress.
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sir, your colleague republican congressman greg walden told the christian science monitor that we are looking at real reform that is done a piece at a time, step by step. my guess is that it comes later next year. in your opinion is a piecemeal approach the best way to go? should that be the only way that the house can go? >> it appears to be. look, let's, first of all, get one thing clear. democrats were in charge 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 in the house of representatives. we never took the issue up. unfortunately now for our side, republicans are in charge and guess what, they're going to say how it is it's going to come about. here's the good thing. the good thing is they say they're going to do it. so if comprehensive immigration reform, thomas, you and i take any bill on comprehensive immigration. part is border security, the dream act, ag workers, future flows for the high tech industry
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and a pathway to legalization. so immigration reform is clearly -- you can clearly divide it up because there are different components that make up the package. look, as long as in the end none of the parts causes me any acid indigestion or illness, i say let's serve it in parts an pieces. the important thing is to get it done. the president of the united states has wisely said let's get it done that way so i can get a bill to sign. >> let's talk about the president, though, because you have an op-ed today. you take issue with republicans blocking reform but you also seem to take issue with the president and take him to task on the number of deportations under his watch. in part you write these undocumented youth are american in every sense of the word, including the confidence with which they speak their minds. but they don't have papers. you cannot go anywhere without hearing about the devastation caused by two million deportations. so yes, as maria teresa was
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pointing out, this is the president and his administration, the toughest on deportations in the history of our country. so is the president backed into a corner on this? >> thomas, twice i've been hauled away from in front of the white house by the police, protesting the president's actions on deportation. today, unfortunately, there's a young dreamer who got a job with congresswoman from arizona. she's quitting because her mom is being deported. that's the tragedy that we have of the deportations. look, this is something that stains all our hands. republicans and democrats alike. and what people have to figure out here and need to come to an understanding is, you need to put the immigrants first and stop putting political posture first because guess what, barack obama, two million deportations. the republicans on the other hand will not move. but here i see light. you talked about walden. a couple of weeks ago they said
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everything is dead, the speaker said nothing is going. the speaker cleared that up and said we are moving forward. i can only tell you now, thomas, that there are still conversations going on, important conversations going on between republicans and democrats. and i want to thank, i want to thank the fasters. i want to thank them for putting this moral thing on this issue. the fasters are there, the dreamers are following the speaker around because everybody is raising their voice. no one is going to get -- and the last thing is, look, they're all going to become citizens. 11 million, they're here, they're not going anywhere. the question is how do we get them there. >> sir, thank you so much. i also want to note in your home state of illinois immigrants can begin applying for driver's licenses today. up next, the deadly train derailment here in new york city. what investigators are now focusing in on and why mayor michael bloomberg of new york city is facing criticism for his response. that's straight ahead. [ cheeping ] [ male announcer ] you hear that?
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nature at its most delicious. so we've got breaking news out of detroit right now. a federal judge ruling whether the city is eligible for bankruptcy protection. i want to show you live video of people picketing outside the federal courthouse. declaring bankruptcy is a critical step for this city in an effort to pay down some of its out of control debt and rebuild the depleted city services there. let's get to ronn insauna. what do we know about what this means for the city of detroit? >> reporter: well, it seems as if detroit's bankruptcy filing will be validated by the court, which i think has pretty far-reaching repercussions insofar as there were challenges to the filing by various creditor groups and unions that suggested that detroit did not bargain in good faith before filing a bankruptcy petition. we'll have to see some of the
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details in respect to to what the court is saying. but if they validate the bankruptcy filing, it will give the city of detroit a great deal of flexibility in how it deals with its creditors and put them effectively in the driver's seat in the negotiations, which is critical. it will also have implications for other metropolitan areas that may find themselves in a similar situation. one that sounds out, puerto rico, which is a very, very difficult straits. some believe that it may be the next to follow detroit. the reason that's important is that puerto rico sold a lot of municipal bonds over the last many years and this will have a ripple effect in the municipal bond market as well. >> ron, i'm just hearing that inside the courtroom the judge has said that the city is eligible for bankruptcy. and some of the statements that have been coming out of the court that we've been getting here at my desk is saying that the city has been -- was insolvent, has been insolvent, but it is going to be protected through this chapter 9. just to remind everybody,
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detroit in 1950 was the fifth largest city in the country at that time, 1.8 million people living there. obviously the automotive boom that was detroit, the ripple effect that's been felt and the issues of our country now leaves detroit with only 700,000 people living there. the response time for police, 58 minutes. while it's good news for the city of detroit, it's not good news at the same time. >> reporter: right, exactly. insofar as this clearly cuts a path towards renegotiating public pensions, various obligations that the city has. they're $18 billion in debt. and so one has to assume that they're going to try to renegotiate that debt with far more favorable terms to the detriment of bondholders. motor city, the automobile manufacturing capital of the world, is doing quite well.
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the u.s. car business is selling automobiles at a rate that we have not seen since 2007. nearly a record number of cars being sold right now, somewhere around 16 million cars a year. the peak was just andersen million in 2007. so the auto industry has come back but the detroit metropolitan area, which you say in 1950 was the fifth largest city in the world, its population cut by two-thirds. there are other cities that have gone through similar experiences with the industrialization. buffalo, new york, in 1955 was the tenth largest city in the country and it's now, i think, in the mid-60s. >> ron, we talk about the automotive industry coming back but that's because of the american taxpayer not letting it fail and the investment that we've all made into the automotive industry. meanwhile, the city is failing. >> reporter: the city is failing, yes. and it is the inner city. i mean there is so much urban blight in detroit that there are only really maybe a handful of other cities in the country that are suffering the same type of
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true deterioration that they have seen in detroit with not just abandoned factories and warehouses and things like that, but even the residential areas have fallen into such disrepair that no one will go there. now again, rather ironically, the rest of michigan is doing very well. i was out there just earlier in the year and government officials and business people are talking about something of a renaissance going on in michigan, particularly in the industrial sector. it just has not made it to detroit, and detroit has really collapsed from within. >> again, the federal judge saying that detroit is eligible for bankruptcy. ron, i want to thank you and leave everybody with these thoughts. 40% of the city's lights didn't work in the first quarter of 2013. 50% of parks have been closed since 2008 and roughly 78,000 structures are abandoned in the city of detroit. ron insana, thank you, sir, appreciate it. >> reporter: thank you, thomas. i want to pass along this programming note. the outgoing detroit mayor will join alex wagner next hour right
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here on msnbc. he announced that he will not be running for re-election. well, a full court press. at 2:30 this afternoon, the president goes all in with a december pr push to promote healthcare.gov and congressional underachievers. congress is about to go down as the least productive in our history. those are the topics for our agenda panel. suzy khimm is a national correspondent for msnbc, ron reagan is an msnbc analyst and steve benen is a contributor and producer for the rachel maddow show. i like this. suzy, the administration is feeling certainly confident enough to sell now to the public. is this going to be enough to combat the perception issues and the problems that they had initially with the rollout? >> so basically the obama administration is transitioning from this period in which it's trying to get the technical side of things to working to actually selling the law itself, which at this point is still a major
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task. the law is definitely going to disrupt health insurance in both positive ways and for some, some negative ways. so basically the administration is basically hoping to change the political tide, change the message that the public is hearing through this nonstop speaking tour all the way up through christmas. >> so the biggest challenge certainly for the administration has been in states that are run by republican governors. there's been a sabotage campaign or obstruction campaign. we do have states where they're running their own exchanges and seen success, certainly in kentucky. we talked with john yarmuth about that and it's startling when you compare his state and the state of mississippi where the state insurance commissioner set up an exchange only to have it shut down by the state's governor. so was this a brazen act of just spite, as it seems, for doing this, kneecapping the people of mississippi and proper access through a state exchange?
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>> i'm afraid so. there's really no other logical explanation for this. we had a situation in which a state insurance commissioner saw the benefits of the affordable care act, wanted to help his own constituents sign up for health care benefits to which they're entitled and the governor intervened and shut down the entire state exchange with no real explanation other than the fact he doesn't like the president, doesn't approve of this administration and doesn't approve of the federal law that p would provide these benefits to the people of mississippi. i realize that for the right the affordable care act and its implementation problems are a problem for the administration, but it's not mutually exclusive to note that republicans sabotage matters too and it certainly mattered in mississippi. >> when we talk about the importance of governors in this federal battle, ron, i want to point out that politico has a piece up today saying that republican governors are up for re-election next year in a number of states that president obama won twice. so in your opinion do you think this pr push is going to be enough potentially to unseat republican governors in these
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states? >> yes, potentially. but what's really going to do it for obama care and for governors in various states is when the law actually comes fully into effect next year and people actually understand what they're getting and what they're avoiding. i mean obama hasn't done a great job in selling the affordable care act. he should have given people sort of a health care 101. there are really only three basic options for health care. we can do what we were doing, which we all agree didn't work. we can go for a universal single payer plan which the rest of the world does but the republicans could scream communism or do obama care. this is a republican plan that the republicans now want to repeal. and paum ought to bring that irony hope to people, i think. >> as you point out, this was, you know, mother endorsed by the
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heritage foundation and implemented in massachusetts, which is basically -- >> by a republican governor, mitt romney. >> by a republican governor. almost 100% of adults and children are now covered because of what they were able to institute there in massachusetts. suzy, while we talk about this and are just in the beginning of december, it's just the beginning, everybody, although we're freaking out that we're getting so close to christmas. as we look at what congress is doing, there's only four days left when the house and senate are both at work before the end of the year, suzy, and there's a long to do list. and yet this congress has accomplished less than any in history. is this the new normal? is this what we as americans should expect from our congressional leaders now? >> i'm not sure whether it's what we should expect, but it definitely has -- the definition of the bar, the minimum that congress has to do to keep our government functioning, to keep basic government services and operations in effect has gone so low it's really depressing. i mean here i'm on capitol hill,
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you would get a sense, you would think, that there would be some sense of urgency and some sense of frustration even, but it's dead quiet here. there's almost none of that urgency that congress should do something by the end of the year. >> steve, what do you think, though, with the narrative changing about the language from republicans of repealing this law? how do republicans now shift gears to get behind it in a way so that they seem palatable to constituents in 2014? >> it's certainly a big challenge for the republicans at this pointing. they have no rival for the affordable care act and really don't have much of a policy agenda in any specific area. i saw a "new york times" article how some republicans are satisfying that they are bragging that they haven't gotten any work done. this is something they should feel a certain degree of pride in. i think that's going to be a very tough sell when they return home or run for re-election, going to their constituents and say vote for me, i've managed to accomplish nothing in the last four years. >> meanwhile, i want to remind
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everybody this is what speaker boehner had to say back in july about gridlock in d.c. take a listen. >> so you have presided over what is perhaps the least productive and certainly one of the least popular congresses in history. how do you feel about that? >> well, bob, we should not be judged on how many new laws we create. we ought to be judged on how many law that say we repeal. >> so that was back in july, ron. so boehner has at least consistency going for him, because they're still highly unpopular and still pretty lazy. so what do you think that the president can learn going president with this gridlock for the new year? >> well, he ought to know that he's facing an opposition that's almost unprecedented in their desire to obstruct and gum up the works of government here. as steve was pointing out, the republicans really don't have an alternative. they decided when obama was
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elected that they simply wanted to shut everything down and obstruct everything, but they have no alternative, just like they don't have an alternative to obama care. they don't have an alternative for anything else. it's just stop the functions of government as much as you possibly can. i think again, when people realize that's what's going on, fully realize that, they're going to reject republicans out of hand. >> our agenda panel today, ron reagan, suzy khimm, steve benen, thanks for your time. you can see more and learn more on our website, thomasroberts.msnbc.com. a programming note and reminder once again that msnbc's own chris matthews will have the exclusive interview with president obama on thursday, as part of his "hardball" college tour from american university. again, that's coming up on thursday at 7:00 p.m. eastern. "hardball" right here on msnbc. [ female announcer ] ladies and gentlemen
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it was revealed just how fast the commuter train was going when it jumped the tracks sunday morning. the on board data recorder revealed the train was going 82 miles per hour when it should have just been doing 30 at that critical curve. that's almost three times the speed limit. meanwhile, outgoing new york city mayor michael bloomberg is facing criticism over his handling of this incident. according to "the wall street journal" the mayor was briefed about the accident 30 minutes after it happened while he was golfing in bermuda but didn't leave the course until five hours later. the mayor was quoted saying what can i do shall i'm not a professional firefighter or police officer. all i can do is make sure the right people from new york city, our police commissioner, our fire commissioner and emergency management commissioner are there. a new report on our american education system this morning is not looking good for the next generation. in fact an international assessment of teens around the world shows u.s. students slipping even further behind. the united states ranking 26th in math scores, dropping one point since 2009, which was the
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last time the test was given. the u.s. is at 21st place in science, which is a drop of four spots and dropped three spots to 17th in reading. by contrast, several asian countries and cities, including japan and singapore saw their students improve significantly. education secretary arne duncan addressed the findings early this morning. >> it is a picture of educational stagnation. the brutal truth that urgent reality must serve as a wake-up call against educational complacency and low expectations. we're running in place as other high-performing countries start to lap us. >> michelle rhee is the ceo and founder of students first and joins us now. michelle, are you surprised by what this new assessment is saying about american students or do you think that this is on track, knowing what you know about where our education system has been going? >> you know, actually it's not a surprise. american kids, their scores have
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not actually changed since the last time the test was administered, so it's not as if their scores have gone down, that's the problem. the issue is that other countries have leap frogged ahead of us, so you have countries like ireland and poland and as tonia that are scoring higher than we are. so we have become stagnant as a country while other nations are really pushing the envelope and growing at much, much faster rates than we are. >> so we talk about stagnation but the oecd, the organization administering this test found a strong connection between higher test scores and the students' school attendance and punctuality. programs like race to the top and now we see resistance to the common core curriculum, what can we learn from these key findings as we look to compete on a global level or enhance that
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stagnation tha stagnation that you refer to? >> absolutely. if you look at the countries who are doing very well, all of them have extraordinarily high standards for their students. and in fact we have one state in our country, massachusetts, that if you look at massachusetts as a state alone, it actually ranks pretty high comparatively internationally, and one of the things that they have done over the last couple of decades is ensure that they have extraordinarily high standards in place. so when you think about the pushback that's happening right now to the common core standards, that's actually a huge problem because what we're attempting to do is have a set of national standards that are internationally benchmarked so that all american kids can be held to the same rigorous standards that ensure that they can compete internationally. >> michelle rhee, ceo and founder of students first. great to see you. thanks for your time this morning. >> absolutely, thank you. open mouth, insert foot. it's time for the poli side bar. today vice president joe biden sat down with a group of female employees in the cafeteria and
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he reportedly asked them, quote, do your husbands like working full time? now here he was at the same company touting the role of women in the workplace. >> some advocates argue that the reason to have women more involved in leadership positions is they're gentler and kinder. i've never found that to be the case. they're as tough, they're as strong, they're as everything as a man is and vice versa. >> scott walker's re-election campaign has an idea for anyone in wisconsin who can't come up with the perfect christmas gift this year. that idea, give money to scott walker. his campaign sent out this e-mail asking for christmas time donations. that e-mail included the line give your children the gift that keeps on giving. now, we reached out to friends of scott walker, the group who sent out that e-mail as well as the governor himself. we're still waiting on a response about that e-mail. new york congressional hopeful and republican george demos is making headlines with a new ad. it compares his democratic
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opponent to president obama and ron ford. take a peek. >> tired of politicians? then look at george demos. he's not a politician. >> all right, so rob ford continuing to refuse to step down since admitting to smoking crack cocaine. but he has been stripped of his powers there. as? i'm thinking th. ho, ho, ho!....the what? i need a car that's stylish and fashionable... especially in my line of work. now do you have a little lemonade stand? guys, i'm in fashion! but i also need amazing tech too... like active park assist... it practically parks itself. and what color would you like? i'll have my assistant send you over some swatches... oh... get a fusion with 0% financing for 60 months, plus $500 ford credit holiday bonus cash during the ford dream big sales event.
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developing news from washington, d.c., crowds are there, they have been fasting in support of immigration reform. they met with the first lady, vice president, nancy pelosi was just there for a visit. she's the house minority leader. also congressman john lewis. the reverend al sharpton is making an address at that eventilary today. the special tuesday edition of go and do, the spotlight on
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those that try to improve the lives of others. black friday and cyber monday, tuesday a day to give to those less fortunate. today we highlight a charity to try to change the giving experience. netherland.net allows donors to give to needy people, day to day items that make a differ. the founder joins me at 30 rock, danielle king in chicago. ladies, it's good to have you here. it's going to be good for everybody to know on giving tuesday. megan, explain to all of us, why and where did you come up with this idea. >> absolutely. i'm a social worker. i've been working know years alongside low in come family in the united states trying to reach their goals and sustainability for themselves and their families. i found myself frustrated and angry over and over again when families who were doing everything right and working towards goals would run into a roadblock and none of us could
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help. maybe a car would break down and mom couldn't get to work. someone would get housing and no one would have funds for furniture or sheets. >> it's simple things. in your career as a social work he you've seen this firsthand. one that caught our eyes, the mission is to bring dignity and slfl determination both sides of the equation illuminating lives on the edge of sustainability. explain how it work for people. you say those might have a car messed up or get furniture for a new home. >> for millions of americans living in low in come households, the reality of one thing coming up and derailing progress is its present every day. so when people come up against a challenge, a car breaks you down or they have an opportunity to get a new job but they need a uniform to take that job or tools, our systems of support simply don't have those resources often to make that possible.
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when we talk about dignity, the people whose stories you'll see on benevolent.net, first of all, they are all speaking for themselves. >> right. >> second of all they are telling their own stories saying this is who i am, where i've been, where i'm going and this is what's standing in my way. so people can go only and give. when they do, we use a crowd giving methodology and we aggregate those funds and send them out to the nonprofit in the community that brought that need to our attention. >> i like this, the snowballing effect. danielle, lets talk about where you were in your life. you and your son in need of a stable place to live. benevolent was able to help you out. explain what they were able to provide to you and your family. >> what benevolent did for me is they provided me the additional funds that i needed to come up with the security deposit and first month's rent on the place where i currently stay. i didn't have a place to stay at the moment. so by them providing that extra bit to get me over that hump, i
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was then able to get myself some stability. they helped me to create the foundation that i needed to create for my child. >> ladies, you'll forgive me for one second because we have to go to this news conference in detroit. stand by for one second because the federal judge there just declaring that city is eligible for bankruptcy. city manager kevyn orr is responding? >> there's going to be a lot of push and pull. i don't think we have a final determination as to what all the elements are going to be to get us through this process. but it's a process that i think we need to take a lot of care because there's going to be pain for a lot of different people. but in the long run, i think the future of the city will be bright. there are a lot of positive things that are now happening. there are thingsen queue that will happen in 2014. once again, we all need to get
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into the same boat, pull together as tough as it's going to be, it's important for the future of the city that we get this behind us. there's a lot of debt on our balance sheet that i think the next -- the incumbent mayor or incoming mayor will have a better balance sheet than any mayor has had in the last 15 to 20 years. the debt has been very, very difficult to deal with because it keeps us from having money to put into the programs that are so desperate for the citizens here in detroit. i do think we'll see lights come on. i do think we will see an improved bus service. i do think we'll see and prove police and fire improvement times, response times. so all of those things i think are things that were part of my initiative that i think will become a reality as we move
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through 2014. with that i'll be open for questions and hopefully kevin will be in shortly to speak. >> mr. mayor, a couple of problems with the city, bus service and lights coming on in the city, so the bankruptcy is a good thing for the residents but bad -- >> we're listening to mayor bing talk in response to a federal judge declaring the city of detroit is eligible for chapter 9 bankruptcy. that mayor is continuing to take questions right now. lets continue to listen. >> 1,000 plus people that are here. i don't think we want to get into a situation where we're putting the citizens against the pensioners. we've got to figure out, there's going to be pain that goes around. we've got to figure out how we can mediate the least amount of
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pain for any one individual. >> next question. >> the judge said this should have happened a long time ago. what's your reaction? >> i absolutely agree. we wasted a lot of time. we could have -- in my four and a half years, we managed our way through a tough, tough situation. but there was no way we were going to solve the long-term liabilities and the debt on our balance sheet. i came in the office. there was a $330 million accumulated deficit over time. we had $18 billion overhang. so we were never able to go out and increase revenue. so the only way that we stayed alive, quite frankly, is through cuts. you know, we cut everything that we could. unless there is more investment coming into the city and a new stream of revenue, there was no
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way to fix the problem. so now with bankruptcy imminent, i think debt off of the balance sheet would be less than it is today and that's going to be a positive on a going forward basis. >> a lot to go around, any particular issue or person? >> i don't look at blame as anything that's going to be helpful at this point in time. i want to concentrate on the glass being half full as opposed to half empty and say all of us, those of us who live in the city, who work in the city, who care about this, need to come to the table to see what positive impetus we can bring with us. >> any plans to do anything to step up the collection of property taxes to bring in more revenue to the city? >> property taxes are being collected as we speak. i think it's a misnomer, because
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some of the numbers that i see are numbers that go back to 2009 when i first came into office where it was said there's 100 to $150 million of uncollected taxes. you go back 10 years ago using the same numbers, it's not realistic. number one, a lot of those people are businesses that are no longer here. we need the number as it relates to taxes. the same thing holds true for empty houses. i see the number constantly at 78,000. that's not a right number. it's a moving number on a monthly basis but it's not near to 78,000. >> when you say -- >> that was detroit mayor dave bing speaking on the ruling moments ago that detroit can file chapter 9 bankruptcy. he'll be joining us later this hour. but first "twelve days of christmas" and